Bernie Goldmann, Melisa Wallack
Bill (Aaron Eckhart) is a ne’er-do-well. His gut sags past his belt line, his job is unfulfilling (and existent only through his father-in-law), and his wife (Elizabeth Banks) is cheating on him with a TV news reporter (Timothy Olyphant) who dies his hair—worse yet, his name is Chip. But Bill has dreams—well, a dream: to open a donut shop in downtown St. Louis. What better way to face a midlife crisis?
Enter The Kid (Logan Lerman), who clings to Bill’s leg as a part of his school’s peer mentoring program. The Kid’s role, it seems, is to bag a hot lingerie salesgirl (Jessica Alba) and introduce Bill to some revelatory pot that will turn his life 180° (thank God the music supervisor couldn’t afford ‘American Woman’).
As Bill fumbles through his muck, so does the movie. The script, by Melisa Wallack, is amateur and unfunny and half the cast deserves better than what she’s written. Maybe not Elizabeth Banks, who borrows quirks from Parker Posey here, but certainly Aaron Eckhart. He’s at a point now in his career where he can’t be willing to star in crap like Meet Bill and No Reservations and I hope that after this summer’s The Dark Knight, he’ll choose better roles.
Co-directors/bedmates Bernie Goldmann and Wallack’s Meet Bill never had a chance, no matter the amount of prestige behind the Toronto International Film Festival. It’s been nearly a decade since American Beauty, a coming-of-middle-age movie that drowns in its own self-aware symbolism. But even that didn’t present a metaphorical pastry.